This day and age may be dominated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, with the Avengers movies ruling the box office each time they have been on, but the King of Fandom still remains the Star Wars series. It’s not really a competition either, seeing that Disney owns both franchises, making the studio an entity raking in the big bucks. But Star Wars’ popularity is an anomaly due to its films only releasing sporadically before Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015. The MCU has at least three films releasing in a year, which enables it to remain present in fans’ memories, but Star Wars needs no regular churning of films. In fact, The Force Awakens easily beat Avengers: Age of Ultron at the box office.
The new film series continued with Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, a film most nerds wailed over because it didn’t fit their fancy. Yet, even that movie made over $1.3 billion to end as the highest-grossing of 2017. Needless to say at this point, there’s nothing stopping Star Wars from being a success (unless we’re talking about the bad Solo: A Star Wars Story).
The main sequel trilogy at least is untouchable when it comes to box office success, and Episode IX will at least reach near VII’s box office success, if not exceed it. So, scroll on down and find out for yourself how these lovely movies are made.
Here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Change The Way We See The New Star Wars Movies.
25 Luke And Leia's Last Picture
Mark Hamill had made it abundantly clear how much he had despised not sharing scenes with Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, but he at least got his wish with Carrie Fisher.
Even so, it wasn’t exactly how he would’ve liked it seeing that it was a force projection of Luke toward Leia rather than an actual interaction. Still, it meant that the two had this photo where they could be brother and sister one last time.
24 Mark Hamill Laughing
Mark’s annoyance with Rian Johnson’s writing of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi got very uncomfortable to watch. He was far too vocal about his point of view differing from the director’s that you would think there was a lot of friction between him and Rian during filming.
You would be wrong, or at least according to this picture.
Mark enjoys a good laugh at whatever joke was going on at the time. It’s a nice change to the Mark we saw in press junkets, who would find a reason to badmouth The Last Jedi’s story at every turn.
23 Daisy's Been Through A Lot
None of us are actors, which is why it’s easy to think the stuff that actors have to do in films looks easy. You’d think wielding a fake lightsaber didn’t require much finesse, but take a look at this picture and you’ll find it to be the opposite case.
Before filming of fight scenes are done, they are choreographed and the actors are supposed to learn. Daisy Ridley didn’t find the process easy as this shot shows us how much she had to deal with during training.
22 Snoke Before CGI
If you’ve got money for a big budget and want some motion capture done for a big actor, then you know you’re going to get Andy Serkis. The man is the only person you think of when the topic of motion capture is brought up. Andy played not-so-Supreme leader Snoke in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, and while Snoke went out very easily, Andy’s acting with the motion suit on still exudes a level of terror. Too bad the character went nowhere.
21 A Hearty Laugh
Finn and Rose’s exploits in The Last Jedi separated the former from Rey for the whole film save for the last scene. It wasn’t the best pairing, with Finn and Rey’s pairing being the better of the two. Fans didn’t think there was as much chemistry between Finn and Rose; however, one look at how the two actors are roaring with laughter will tell you it had nothing to do with a real-life problem. It was clearly down to the writing and direction that the pairing didn’t seem that great.
20 Filming The Face-Off
Rey and Kylo Ren’s freaky “love story” was punctuated in the throne room of Supreme Leader Snoke. Kylo Ren would catch Snoke unawares and use a lightsaber to cut Snoke in half. Following this, he and Rey battled Snoke’s guards.
The fight was in such a way, you’d think Rey and Kylo Ren were a couple. This kind of fight requires choreography, so Daisy receiving instructions from Rian are a must. Rian is probably telling her how to visualize the battle as in reality most of what she sees isn’t actually there.
19 Farewell Dear Lady
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi was a full year behind its release on December 2017 when Carrie Fisher passed away. Filming had already concluded by this, however, so her appearance in the film was intact. It goes to show how much work the post-production guys have to do seeing that principal photography ended a year before release.
At this time, Carrie Fisher was in great health and in this picture she is pecked on the cheek by an admiring Oscar Isaac. Maybe this was the last interaction the two had.
18 First Day Of Last Jedi Shoot
All of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens was spent looking for Luke Skywalker. When Rey finally found him, his appearance was for only a few seconds. This minimal role was rectified in The Last Jedi, where Luke had a substantial role. His scenes were almost exclusively with Rey, which is why we can find the actors celebrating the first day of filming together.
The location they were shooting on wasn’t works of a green screen; the on-location shooting mustn’t have been fun considering the surroundings.
17 Garbage Ship Filming
In The Force Awakens, Rey and Finn flee enemies who open fire at them. The two look for cover around this point but have nowhere to hide. Finn proposes he and Rey make a run for it off the planet and into the star system. The small matter of finding the right ship came in between their plans – they had to settle for a “garbage” ship.
Daisy Ridley doesn’t seem to mind the ship like Rey and converses with J.J. Abrams over how to complete the scene while the ship looms in the back.
16 Finn Training With Stormtrooper
We saw Daisy Ridley training for the lightsaber battle, but on that occasion, she was being trained by people in normal attire and average sticks. In this one, John Boyega bizarrely trains with an actual Stormtrooper.
Talk about getting into character, right?
This Stormtrooper definitely is dedicated as the match-up with John looks to be riveting. They are both also using lightsabers - they aren’t quite lit up – making this a real tussling encounter. Now let's wonder who won the round.
15 Ending Of Force Awakens
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens heavily promoted Luke’s appearance. While he wasn’t shown in the trailers, it was stated this was a deliberate decision to preserve his film role. As it turned out, he was in it for all of about thirty seconds.
His role was so minimal that J.J. Abrams didn’t even bother to film that scene until the very end. In this picture we can see the cast and crew pose for the final scene to be filmed for the movie.
14 Kylo Ren Emerging
Although Kylo Ren behaves like an overgrown manchild, he does have an awesome look. This look is only cool when he puts on the helmet, though. In Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren’s early appearances were made to look foreboding, so that the audience knew this was a guy to fear. Here, the green screen behind the people in this picture will do the job for the backdrop, while the smoke around Kylo makes him look menacing.
13 The First Look
Everyone lost their minds when the first look of The Force Awakens was shown to the world. The film was the first chronological sequel for Star Wars in the last 32 years, making it a hotly anticipated event.
This shot shows the photo shoot that would make millions scream with anticipation.
A picture with Han Solo and Chewbacca along with new protagonists Rey and Finn was a mouthwatering teaser fans had. A huge deal like this could only be covered by a major publication like Vanity Fair.
12 Daisy Ridley's Skills
Daisy Ridley was only 22-years-old when filming began for Episode VII. This is like handing the keys to the kingdom to someone. She was in for a thrill ride with all of the filming revolving around her. First, Daisy needed to accustom herself with everything Star Wars related.
You can’t call yourself a part of the Star Wars universe unless you’ve got the hang of lightsabers and ray guns. In this picture, Daisy has a laugh while trying to gauge how aiming works with a ray gun.
11 Simon Pegg Before Makeup
Simon Pegg played out the dream of every nerd growing up in the 1980s when he got a role in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. It doesn’t matter if you get the lead role or a part that no one even knows you’re playing, simply being in Star Wars is enough to fulfill one’s dreams.
Simon played Unkar Plutt in the film.
His character was nowhere near being easy on the eyes and looked rather gross. Here, we see Simon before he dons the makeup that would turn him into the ugly alien.
10 Harrison Ford And J.J.
Harrison Ford’s status as a Star Wars legend was cemented far earlier than his appearance in The Force Awakens. He had been the breakout star of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, before he was turned into sort of a comedy act in Episode V and Episode VI.
J.J. Abrams, being much younger than Harrison, ensured Han Solo didn’t come across as comedic relief this time around and looks at Harrison with definite admiration. Despite being the director, it seems he’s the one taking pointers.
9 The Set Behind The Star
The desert in Rey’s homeworld in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens looked far out and sprawling. Although the set where it was filmed certainly was massive (and you saw the huge ‘Garbage’ ship on set above), it still was a filing set rather than an actual place.
In this picture, you can see Daisy about to go back into character as Rey, but the entire area is roped around with crew gear. What we see in the camera are clear deserted lands, but just around the corner the crew and their equipment lie.
8 Stormtroopers In Blue Screen
Having Stormtrooper armor in your house would make you look cool in front of your peers, although you most likely won’t be a hit with women who aren’t interested in Star Wars. The people who think Stormtroopers look lame will have this picture as proof.
The men standing around in armor look hilariously out of place. With the blue screen behind them indicating it is the work of post-production to make things look cool, in real-time these guys won’t be winning Cool Guy of the Year awards.
7 Maz Kanata Creation
A lot of people don’t even know that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was the one who portrayed the freaky looking alien called Maz Kanata in both Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. Yet, news outlets love to highlight this fact as if Maz Kanata were some main character, which she hardly is.
Bringing Maz Kanata to life is the job of the production team who should receive plaudits for their work done. Here you can see the concept room where all the preparations are made to give shape to the CGI characters.
6 Kylo Ren Blue Screen Filming
We told you Kylo Ren’s coolness factor only came into play when he had the helmet on, and here’s our proof as to why. Kylo looked like a complete dope without his helmet; his features being too boyish to make him look intimidating. By the end of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, he had done away with the mask mostly.
In this blue screen backdrop shot, Kylo Ren looks on lost in thought. He should’ve put the helmet on to be taken seriously, though.
5 Camera Sequence In The Desert
We know we said that the desert filming was a set and that the crew was around the whole time, but the desert was by no means a joke and you can see for yourself how far it goes. Filming for the desert sequence required Finn and Rey to be running around frantically and many shots were devoted to showing to us how huge the barren environment was.
This camera followed the actors around.
The technology was such that it would speed up with the actors as they ran as fast as they could, which the scene required.
4 Stars In The Desert
Remember how we said Finn and Rey had more chemistry? Then feast your eyes on how genuinely Daisy Ridley is laughing here. It must have been something very funny, considering John Boyega is busy gulping in that glucose drink after cracking the joke.
Running around in the desert while filming for days is hardly an easy task, so these actors were required to stay fully hydrated at all times. Lucky for them, they were pampered, considering they were the main characters and all.
3 Prepping Chewbacca
Unlike a lot of the characters who are CGI, Chewbacca has always remained a costumed character. It would be too much work to have him be a CGI character as he’s seen in a lot of pivotal moments. Still, preparing his look can’t be easy and in this picture, you can see two members of the crew fretting over prepping him up.
The poor actor will need to be comfy in there, although it looks difficult considering how heavy all that fur is.
2 Stormtroopers Without Lasers
A whole bunch of Stormtroopers means that a film is either in its beginning moments or the climax is about to be reached. This is because the tension is meant to be amplified with bombardments by the antagonists. Lucky for the heroes, Stormtroopers’ aim stinks. They never get to hit their target and the laser beams are always flying around.
During filming, no one actually has real ray guns, and so what you see is a bunch of guys dressed awkwardly aiming fake guns around with no sound coming out of them.
1 Teaching Finn
Of course, the one Stormtrooper who could have precision aiming is Finn seeing that he becomes a main character. Finn was horrified by what the Stormtroopers were doing and deserted his post.
Before he got around to that, he needed some shooting practice.
A frantic looking John Boyega aims the ray gun toward an intended target as his shooting scene is filmed. Oddly enough, neither the director or the camera is looking at him. So why’s he in character?